Monthly Archives: July 2021

Jabby Birthday! 24 years and Kounting…

We have a long tradition of celebrating the Kompany’s birthday in the middle of July every year. I say every year – indeed it was every year since 1997 – but, alas, last year we had to break from tradition, for obvious reasons. But that only made us all the more keen to bounce back to normal this year, continuing where we left off in 2019 – with a big bang!

It was touch and go, of course, whether it would go ahead at all this year given the ongoing… situation, but in the end – yeh! So on July 16, again on a bank of the river Volga at a hotel complex in the countryside outside Moscow, it was time to party: party hard, party fun (as we always do), and this year – party safe!

‘But, like… what? There’s a global pandemic still raging!’, I can hear some of your say…

Hold your horses. Back up a bit, and here’s a bit more on ‘partying safe’…

Read on…

Modern techno-kunst of the most boggling kind.

My customary busy schedule of business globetrotting sees me visit places equipped with some really interesting art expositions. And if said busy schedule grants me two-or-so hours of free time, you can guess where I normally head to fill those two-or-so hours. This ritual has seen me squeeze in visits, among many others, to:

Art, arte, iskustvo, kunst. I love it. Mostly. But sometimes, especially when it’s of the modern/moderna/sovremennoe genre, things become… less straightforward, more ambiguous, somewhat contradictory. No matter, for it still always generates unusual thought processes related to the perception of aesthetic experience. And that’s just great!

Well just the other day, I had another arty outing – this time without even stepping onto a plane. It was another Moscow-based visit, and what a visit it was…

Now, do you want to boggle a little? (And, I do believe, the only thing one can boggle is a mind.) Or, rather, would you like to boggle your mind a lot? Or, rather, would you like to overboggle your mind? In that case, you need to get to the new ‘May the Other Live in Me‘ modern techno-art exhibition at the New Tretyakov Gallery, a science-art project of the Laboratoria Art & Science Foundation, which we support. Why? Well, my mind was truly boggled, and my mind does take some boggling. So I highly recommend it to you too. Here’s my brief report and pics on the exhibition – you preview…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Tokyo
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  • Tokyo
  • Tokyo

Instagram photostream

Innoprom in Yekaterinburg: another sign of business life returning to normal.

After a year+ hiatus, business life is finally slowly returning to normal. Hurray! Recent indicators of this: the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the IT Forum in Khanty-Mansiysk, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and just the other day I returned from the Innoprom International Industrial Fair in Yekaterinburg.

So what can I say? First: it’s much more modest in scale than the gigantic proportions of something like Germany’s Hannover Messe – both in terms of the overall quantity of products on show, and also the variety. All the same, there was plenty to look at ->

Read on…

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Express-tourism amid strict Spanish forbidden-ism.

Welcome back to Barcelona folks!

After the few days of business in the city, as per, it was time for some express-tourism. Well of course it was – such a beautiful, sunny part of the world as this is! ‘Tourism? But there’s a pandemic on!’. Indeed, this post may come across somewhat provocative, and for that I apologize. What with covid still lingering, it’s hardly politically correct to wax lyrical about visits to world-class tourist destinations now is it? A bit like… A Feast in a Time of Plague, even. So, here goes with my brief justifications: (i) we didn’t go to Catalonia simply for tourism – this was a brief post-scriptum dosage thereof after our reason for coming – MWC-2021; (ii) we were super-careful and followed all the rules and observed all the restrictions to the letter; and (iii) I took plenty of pics while there, which really do need to be shared ). Justifications sufficient? Eek. Hope so…

Actually, though I don’t encourage everyone to pile down to Barcelona/Girona just now as that would cancel out what I’m about to say, right now is a perfect time for tourism here. The reason is simple: all the places of interest for tourists are practically empty. For example, here’s Barcelona’s famous La Rambla; normally you can’t move for the crowds. Look at it today:

You’d think it was February or some other low-season month.

Read on…

Our rebranding story, and how Midori Kuma nearly became our logo.

Early June of 2019 was a quiet, nothing-special kind of early June. The world was rotating around the Sun as per, 19 days remained until the astronomical summer, ‘Corona’ meant a Mexican beer, and ‘covid’ meant absolutely nothing to anyone. In short, it was life as we knew it pre-pandemic: what we all could do with a lot more of today…

Meanwhile for the Kompany, we had our own schedules and timeframes, also as per. And early June, 25 months ago on our schedule was significant: it was when our big rebranding was taking place. The time had come for us to say goodbye to the old Korporate style (in terms of the logo, besides a whole lot of other stuff, including the fonts and other stylings and colorings and imagery, and what-have-you), which, given a few tweaks down the years, had been with us a full 22 years! It was out with the old and in with the new – a reboot, an upgrade, a Porsche, a rejuvenation, an image change; time for something different, more in line with the times, and also more polished; at least that’s what I was told (joke). No, really – it was to give us a new corporate style to more accurately reflect the company’s next stage of development – an ambitious yet confident stage, and certainly a futuristic one given our industry (cyber [the security thereof]).

But where others change their logo (slightly!) and have done with it, we had lots more in store. In fact, a full rebranding is a lengthy, complex process of tweaking perfecting all aspects of the identity and life of the company, including not only how we look on the outside, but also the way we interact with audiences, communication style, and scores of other things.

So yes; today’s post is all about rebranding. Now for some detail…

Work on our big rebranding began back in 2018. We’d known for a while how our good old logo/brand and messaging were more late-90s/early-2000s-oriented than 2019. For years we’d been sensing a certain dissonance between our technologies/products – which were always truly cutting-edge – and the image of the company to our users. For several years already we’d not been ‘just an antivirus company’ but a developer of broad-spectrum cybersecurity solutions. Yet still our logo was fairly antique with its pseudo-Greek letters. It was as if it was anchoring the company to the past – to the long-forgotten floppy-disk times.

For nearly a year we brainstormed, thought, compared, imagined, weighed up, discussed, argued, consulted, agreed then disagreed, considered, debated, deliberated… all so as to find the very best perfect fit for our rebranding. A conservative estimate at the number of logo variants our design team put forward gives at least… 300! Then, the final couple of candidate-versions were vetoed be moi. Not because I was being obstinate, but because I was being super obstinate simply didn’t see even in those final few prototypes one that resonated 100% with the company’s aims and values.

Oh, and here are the rejected variants! ->

Some curious near-misses (hits?!) occurred during the year of debate…

Read on…

MWC @ Barcelona – down, but not out!

Hi folks!

And now, after yesterday’s mostly miserable post, a positive one!…

This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona actually went ahead! Hurray!

And I was there in person! Hurray!

And I spoke up on stage! Hurray!

And I gave a slew of interviews to international media! Hurray!

And some ‘fans’ of mine asked for autographs selfies! Grrr. Joke!

Last year, being all 2020, MWC was cancelled. The world’s largest mobile event just didn’t happen; imagine?!

This year – despite the lingering 2020ness (still some closed borders, plenty of restrictions still in place, traveling difficulties, and the conservative conduct of many companies) – the show went on, as it must!

Read on…

Abandoned, decaying settlements – even in Maldives!

When you get to travel all over the world armed with a camera, you get to take snaps of all sorts of natural and man-made objects of varying degrees of unusualness, attractiveness, monumentalness, and a thousand other nesses. But, occasionally, you find yourself taking pics of certain less attractive objects – albeit ones still possessing a certain mysterious appeal: I’m referring to abandoned, deserted settlements: dilapidated buildings left to rot, streets all overgrown; decay, ruin. All rather depressing, but still, clickety-clack go the cameras!

I’ve seen a few such places over the years. In January of this year a group of petrol-heads and I dropped in on the dead town of Kadykchan on the Kolyma Highway in Russia’s far-east. A year earlier we paid a visit to the half-buried-in-sand ghost town of Kolmanskop in Namibia, Africa. The year before that we were in the Kurils where we inspected a deserted former military base. Down in Antarctica there was an abandoned Chilean camp (you guessed it, half-buried in snow and ice). And over on the Kamchatka peninsula there was another abandoned military (naval) base, Bechevinka.

And who would have thought it (not me, at first, for one) – you also get this kind of thing in… Maldives! Here it’s not abandoned military bases or mono-towns or former mining settlements, but derelict, crumbling former tourist resorts. You can find a zillion photos online of fancy bungalows lining paradisiacal atolls around these parts; you’ll find a lot less than a zillion like the ones I’m about to show you…

So, there we were, flying up above the Maldives archipelago, and down below all looks as per the script: paradise!…

But if you look a bit closer…

Read on…